Rebecca Lamar McLeod manuscript
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Rebecca Lamar McLeod manuscript

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: McLeod, Rebecca Lamar, 1811-1891.
Title: Rebecca Lamar McLeod manuscript
Dates: circa 1838
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0924

Biographical/Historical Note

Rebecca Lamar McLeod (1811-1891) was the daughter of Basil Lamar and the wife of General Hugh McLeod. In 1827, as a young child, she was aboard the steamship Pulaski when the vessel's boiler exploded and the ship sank off the coast of the Carolinas on its way to Baltimore, Maryland from Savannah, Georgia. Rebecca, and her brothers, G.B. Lamar and C.A.L. Lamar survived. Her mother, a cousin, and five of her siblings were lost. According to the introduction to the posthumous publication of her manuscript in the Georgia Historical Quarterly (1919), Rebecca McLeod did not intend for her writings to ever be published.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a manuscript entitled "The Wreck of the Pulaski," which was published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III, pages 63-95 (June 1919). The manuscript describes the disastrous event of the destruction of the ship Pulaski in which her mother, cousin, and five of her siblings were killed.

She begins her story by recounting the positive reputation that the Pulaski had, having made three successful trips between Savannah, Georgia and Baltimore, Maryland. McLeod's first line "The Pulaski was born of a wreck" foreshadowed the tragic event of the ship's fourth voyage however. Very quickly into the narrative, she writes of how an explosion woke her family and all the passengers during the night and the panic that ensued as the boat leaned on its side and took on water. She describes in great detail the experiences, deaths, and methods of survival of the passengers that were left on the sinking boat with her for two terrifying days before they were rescued. Towards the end, she tells of the rescue, her sickness that followed the rescue, and her return home. Her conclusion sums up the events of the disaster in a stark fashion detailing the fates of many of her fellow passengers.

Index Terms

Lamar family.
Manuscripts (document genre)
McLeod, Rebecca Lamar, 1811-1891.
Personal narratives.
Pulaski (Steamship)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from the grandson of the creator.

Preferred Citation

[Item identification], Rebecca Lamar McLeod manuscript, MS 924, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Hugh McLeod, Jr., 1970.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Publication note

Manuscript published in Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III, pages 63-95 (June 1919).


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

"The Wreck of the Pulaski" manuscript, circa 1838